Syed Alwi: A road with two tales

Syed Alwi: A road with two tales
A row of shophouses in the eastern side of Syed Alwi Road.

SINGAPORE - A legless body stuffed into a suitcase, blood still dripping, cast a ghoulish spotlight last week on Syed Alwi Road.

The body was that of Mr Muhammad Noor, a 59-year-old Pakistani national who came here last month to sell tissue paper.

His alleged murderers Rasheed Muhammad, 43, and Ramzan Rizwan, 25, were his roommates and fellow countrymen. They were charged on Sunday.

Even before this grisly tale, Syed Alwi Road is a road brimming with stories and one with two distinct halves.

There is the eastern side, which is cut off at Victoria Street. And there is the western side, which borders Serangoon Road, where Mustafa - with its shiny nine-storey extension - stands.

Jalan Besar, an unofficial divider that runs through Syed Alwi Road, where dim sum eatery Swee Choon is, separates the two sides.

In the day, shops like Kam Auto Mart, Belwin Motors and Da Lian Traditional Noodles go about their daily business on the eastern side. Clanking metal can be heard as workers unload goods from vehicles. Hunched men crowd walkways as they fix bicycles.

The western side, where Indian vegetarian restaurants, provision shops and Mustafa mall are, is quieter in the day.

Mr Muhammad Ismail, 47, a supervisor at supermarket Palamuthir Solai, said: "The crowds come only at night after the workers finish work. Wives waiting for their husbands to knock off will also start shopping for groceries."

Indeed, as the sun sets and shop shutters are drawn on the eastern side of Syed Alwi Road, the western side, brightened by the fluorescent lights of Mustafa mall, bustles with activity.

Crowds gather outside Mustafa. Excited chatter fills Indian restaurants, as families and friends feast on briyani.

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